Iowa Utility Board rules on Alliant rate case

The Utilities Board issued its Final Decision and Order and News Release late last week.

Below is the initial statement from the Decorah Area Group, of which WED was a key organizer and partner. We will be developing and sharing more detailed analysis in the near future, so stay tuned!

Statement from the Decorah Area Group:

The Board’s final ruling in the Alliant rate case was a powerful statement on the value of community partnership and leadership. The Decorah Area Group (consisting of the City of Decorah, Luther College, Winneshiek Medical Center, Aase Haugen Senior Services, and Winneshiek Energy District) was cited over 100 times in the final ruling, and DAG’s testimony was critical to a number of key rulings.

The final rate increase of over 15% for residential and large general service customers, and nearly 11% for most business, is still way too high, especially in context of the 2018 rate hike and another likely in 2021. But the combined testimony of intervenors did reduce the total increase roughly 38% from the company’s original proposal, saving Decorah area customers roughly $1 million/year. We also successfully protected solar customers both large and small from major discriminatory fees, keeping at least another quarter million in the pockets of local solar owners every year, and keeping the door open for growing solar ownership.

The Board’s ruling also kept the door open on municipalization. Though only a small part of DAG’s testimony, the Board took this history very seriously and stated “The lack of transparency and misrepresentation in the Decorah municipalization vote is of significant concern to the Board.” The Board chastised Alliant for “withholding from and not providing to the citizens of Decorah accurate information about anticipated rate increases”, and declared they will require Alliant “to submit a plan to ensure that information presented to the communities considering any anticipated [utility] rate changes is accurate and current.”

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